Chattanooga, TN – Reach One Teach One hosted it’s annual toy drive to help give children in underserved communities the Christmas that they deserve.
Donations of unwrapped toys and nonperishable food items were dropped off at Orchard Knob Middle School from 10am until 1pm.
Executive Director, Reginald Yearby, has been collecting toys through toy box collections at retail collections throughout the city all month long.
Yearby has a unique story of redemption that makes his mission personal.
After spending time in jail, he’s now hoping to give back to kids who were just like him, saying that they shouldn’t be punished for making poor decisions.
“I’m tired of the narrative of everyone saying our kids are bad, cause I was one of those kids. It’s just the decisions that they make, they make a lot of bad choices and I wanted to get out and be able to show them what good choices look like and that my past doesn’t determine who I am today,” says Yearby.
Volunteers with Reach One Teach One say their annual toy drive is especially important in a year like 2020, when times are more difficult than usual.
“This is important to the community because every little piece of the puzzle helps. So we’re just a piece of the puzzle in the community, we put this event together because during this pandemic everybody’s facing a lot of hardships. We want everyone to feel some love around Christmastime, don’t feel the pressure of having to go out and buy things and just be able to show you know appreciation to our community. We’re a tight knit community in Chattanooga, we’re a small community, and every little bit helps. Like every part of the community that takes part in this time of year – it makes a difference,” says Parent Liason Tameeka Millener.